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  • can slobber straps work on shank bits ?
  • Bit hobble slobber cord

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    12-18-2009, 06:28 PM
I don't know about what all is legal in the shows, you might contact the local show steward or whoever and find out. As for the nutcracker effect. JDI explained it best with her bucket analogy. Think of the bit as the handle on a bucket. With a single jointed snaffle, when you went to pick up the bucket, it would pinch your hand and that pinch would be harder the more the bucket weighed. That is the same thing your horse feels in his mouth with a simple snaffle. The sides of the bit push down on the bars and pinch his lips and tongue while the middle joint of the bit angles upward and pokes the roof of his mouth. The harder you pull, the more he is pinched.

One of the reasons why many people don't like TT bits and the like is because when you think about the leverage ratio; a simple snaffle bit is a 1:1 ratio (you exert 1 pound of pressure on the reins and the horse feels 1 pound of pressure in his mouth). The ratio all depends on the proportions of the bit but I think a standard TT is a 1:3 ratio (each pound you exert, the horse feels 3).
Tom Thumb Bit

And here is another site that explains the confusion caused by direct reining, etc.
Trouble with Tom Thumb

And as for the bar across the bottom of the bit, it is called a slobber bar and I believe it is just used to stabilize the swivel motion on longer shanked bits. Not positive though.

Copied from another forum and it sounds right...

Bit hobble, shank hobble, slobber strap, slobber bar, slobber chain...many names. Sometimes it's a thin bar, or a thick one. Some have chain, some are just a rope or braided rope/rawhide. You could use a curb strap if it goes small enough. It also has the effect of fixing loose shanks. It won't make them 100% stiff but it takes a lot of the play out of them so that they act more like a stiff shank then a loose one.

If the shanks are long it won't stop it from flipping over. What it is normally for is to stop a rope(or other things but mainly a rope) from getting hung up int he shanks and getting the mouth jerked on when the rope is pulled tight.
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    12-18-2009, 06:54 PM
I was thinking that a happy mouth might be a good idea... I found two:

Happy Mouth Western French w/ Shank and Western Jointed Mouth Shank Bits *|*EQUESTRIAN COLLECTIONS.COM
^^ I know Bear does well in french links and im sure he would do good in a happy mouth. I could just use this bit for at home and such, as im guessing I wouldnt be aloud to show in this.

Happy Mouth Western Jointed Mouth w/ Sha and Western Jointed Mouth Shank Bits *|*EQUESTRIAN COLLECTIONS.COM
^^ I think I would have a better chance showing in this one (as in there would be a higher chance of this one being legal.

I will keep on looking at different bits. I think a happy mouth would be a good idea for Bear though, as he doesnt like harsh bits (not using my tom-thumb for him, ever xD)
    12-18-2009, 06:57 PM
I found a few more western happy mouth bits:

Happy Mouth Western Center Revolver w/ S and Western Jointed Mouth Shank Bits *|*EQUESTRIAN COLLECTIONS.COM
HMouth Jointed Mouth American Gag Bit and Gag Bits*|*EQUESTRIAN COLLECTIONS.COM
HMouth Double Jointed Mouth American Gag and Gag Bits*|*EQUESTRIAN COLLECTIONS.COM

I am just posting all the western happy mouths I can find, not bits that I am considering. I will not consider a bit until I get your guys' opinion.
    12-18-2009, 07:21 PM
Happy Mouth Western French w/ Shank and Western Jointed Mouth Shank Bits *|*EQUESTRIAN COLLECTIONS.COM

If I had to choose one, this would be it. It looks decently mild for having shanks. Hm, I wonder if they make it with a billy allen roller.........

Now I'm going to have to start looking. LOL.

Although, I wonder if it is actually the plastic that Bear likes or just the bigger girth...

This one might be worth considering. It has a bigger girth on the sides.
    12-18-2009, 07:38 PM
Does anyone know how this one works? Is is just a flexible cable in the middle or what?

Happy Mouth Western Center Peanut Bar w/ and Western Jointed Mouth Shank Bits *|*EQUESTRIAN COLLECTIONS.COM
    12-18-2009, 07:46 PM
This one looks like it might have a little thicker mouth too.

Abetta Northstar Calvary Shank Billy Allen Bit

Judging by me measuring the length of the shank in the picture and the thickness of the mouth, it is at least a half inch.
    12-19-2009, 03:18 AM
NONONO!!! Not a tomthumb, get a short shanked ported grazing style bit.
    12-19-2009, 03:37 AM
Green Broke
Happy Mouth Western French w/ Shank and Western Jointed Mouth Shank Bits *|*EQUESTRIAN COLLECTIONS.COM

I like this one if you have to go with a jointed mouthpiece. Just please make sure not to shank him until he neckreins very well? I think you already mentioned that you aren't going to but just my 2 cents anyhoo.
    12-19-2009, 11:52 AM
Do you have anybody you can borrow bits from? That's the best way to find out what works for your horse (as long as they're the right size). I've purchased bits from friends because they worked so good for my guy and not so well for theirs.
    12-19-2009, 01:35 PM
I can see that you're already using an eggbutt. I wouldn't switch that out. I ride all my horses (16 of them) except one in the eggbutt. I do, however, have a real wide mouth one, like this:


If you don't want a bit to pinch the corners of your horse's mouth, you can use a bit guard.
And the leather strap you asked about that's at the bottom of the bit is called a curb strap. It can serve several different purposes, depending on the bit. On your eggbutt, it can serve any of 3 purposes.
1. Keep the bit from sliding through the horse's mouth
2. Add leverage to the chin to gain collection
3. Help evenly distribute the pressure throughout the entire mouth.

On a shank bit, depending on where it is placed, (either attached to the rings the headstall is attached to, or attached to the rings the reins are attached to) it not only keeps the shanks together, but it also prevents a rider from pulling the bit through the mouth and provides leverage under the chin for collection as well.

Here's a picture similar to the bit I use in the one horse that runs through my eggbutt.

Google Image Result for http://www.bitsnmore.com/images/catalog/714.jpg

My gray gelding has a problem when we're working cattle, he will suck in the snaffle bit and slide his tongue over it and pull against it. But my bit is a wide, rubber-wrapped piece of bike chain, so it doesn't pinch in his mouth as bad as this one would.

However, this one may be beneficial to you if your horse is really sensitive in the mouth.

Google Image Result for http://www.bitsnmore.com/images/catalog/714.jpg

Touch Plus, 5 1/2", sweet iron wrapped, three piece mouth with o-ring center. 6 1/2" cheeks. Designed for the horse with a more sensitive mouth. The slightly longer purchase and cheek add control for rate and supple turns.

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